Now we know a little more about why HODINKEE felt the need to raise $40 million last year. It needed a war chest to go on raids for prize assets like pre-owned luxury watch specialist Crown & Caliber.
Crown & Caliber is the second significant acquisition of a pre-owned operator in the past year after the Watches of Switzerland Group bought Analog Shift in September, 2020.
HODINKEE would not disclosed the value of the deal, but Crown & Caliber is among a respected top tier of trading companies that includes Watchbox and Bob’s Watches in the United States along with Richemont-owned Watchfinder and CHRONEXT, which are headquartered in Europe.
“With smart pricing tools, quick payment services, and a tremendous level of trust from their customers, Crown & Caliber are real experts in the pre-owned watch world,” says HODINKEE CEO Toby Bateman.
“We are proud to welcome them into the HODINKEE business and are excited about expanding our own trade-in service and pre-owned watch sales.”
Hamilton Powell, Crown & Caliber founder and CEO, says customers will get an even better experience from being part of HODINKEE as it will allow the business to expand and innovate. “You’ll continue to receive the excellent level of customer service you’ve come to expect from us. Over time, we are excited to update you on ways we are focused on making the watch world better by investing in products and enhancing the customer experience to inspire today’s watch enthusiasts – from novice to seasoned collector,” he says.
“As we looked at the future of our industry, HODINKEE and Crown & Caliber agreed we would benefit from each other’s strengths to build a one-of-a-kind online destination for all watch enthusiasts,” he adds.
Mr Hamilton will “continue in his strategic role as founder of Crown & Caliber”, HODINKEE says.
HODINKEE has dabbled in pre-owned but currently has only six watches for sale on its ecommerce store while Crown & Calibre has 1,344, more than half of which are Rolex, Omega and Breitling pieces.
In the short term, both websites will continue selling watches. “It will be business as usual,” a HODINKEE spokesperson told WatchPro. “However, our community will see added benefits such as the ability to sell your watch to Crown & Caliber and receive HODINKEE shop credit. And the ability for Crown & Caliber customers to insure their watch through HODINKEE Insurance.”
Merging the two operations will take time, and for now they will continue to be based in New York and Atlanta.
“Crown & Caliber’s team which includes operations, customer service, marketing, and procurement, as well as a team of Swiss-certified watchmakers, experienced technicians, and refinishers, will continue to provide world-class service to their customers from Atlanta. For HODINKEE, its industry-leading editorial and Shop will continue to operate out of New York,” HODINKEE’s spokesperson described.